Our relationship was always up and down. VERY “up and down”. When I first saw my ex, Phil, (all names have been changed for privacy) I was attracted to his dark eyes and hair, tall, athletic build, and his confident demeanor. However, within that same first impression, I could see that he was downright arrogant. He seemed completely unaware of others, other than how they might revere him. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the man.
It all began when his friend, Jason, seemed to take an interest in me. He would find ways to chat with me in the halls of our school. (We were in grad school at the time.) When our school’s big homecoming event came up, he invited me to a “big party at Phil’s”. It wasn’t a big party at all, just a group of maybe four older graduates that had come to visit for the homecoming weekend.
My relationship with Jason was normal, nothing out of the ordinary. He was a very kind man. We would sometime double date with Phil and his girlfriend, Melissa. She was a nice girl about my age, about 22 at the time. One instance in particular stands out in my mind. We were all going to meet at Phil’s and go out to dinner together. Jason, Melissa and I were there waiting for him. He always left the door open, so we waited inside. Hours later, still no Phil. Melissa and I chatted while Jason took a nap. Hours later, Melissa said that she was pretty angry at Phil for being so late and not calling. She asked if I would be angry if I was in her shoes. I agreed that I too would have been angry. Finally, Phil comes stumbling in about midnight, obviously drunk. He had been out drinking with a buddy from the military, obviously not concerned that we were sitting there waiting for him for hours. No trouble. He hadn’t forgotten. He apparently didn’t care.
When Melissa saw him, she asked where he had been, etc. and she said she was going to go home. Obviously, at this point, we were just waiting to be sure that he made it home and when she saw that he was safe, she got up to leave. They walked outside and I’m assuming had a rather heated argument about how he should have called, etc. When he came back in, he was furious. He yelled at me, “Thanks a lot! Why did you tell her that you would be mad too!” I left feeling guilty. This was my first experience of is projecting blame. Never did he apologize to us for being hours late and not calling. This was the second red flag that I missed. I blamed it on the alcohol. The first red flag was the obvious cocky attitude.
He, on several occasions, bragged that everyone at school knew who he was and he didn’t know anyone, implying that he had a good reputation for being so adept at martial arts and everyone else were just peons. He mentioned on several occasions his martial arts training and how grueling it was, and how people always underestimated his strength for his size. He was about 5’11, 145 pounds and self-reportedly, very strong. He was an extremist, which would show up again and again in his life with me… with his (supposed) martial arts training, his overzealousness for his chosen profession (which he didn’t end up finishing), and his child rearing over-protectiveness.